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At-Risk Los Angeles Youth to Perform Original Monologues and Songs
Casa Esperanza Blythe Street partners with Actress Ciera Payton for a Summer Camp of creativity and inspiration!
Made possible by a grant from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, Actress Ciera Payton has dedicated the summer of 2014 much as she has in the past: mentoring at-risk youth, cultivating their inner artists for a positive outcome! Youth, ranging in ages 12-20, from one of the areas of Los Angeles most affected by gangs and drugs, have been afforded the opportunity to spend a summer with the actress, creating original artistic expressions, avoiding many of the possible pitfalls idle time can bring.
On Friday, August 8, 6:00 - 8:30pm, the Los Angeles area is in for a spectacular treat. Set to take place at the Andres and Maria Cardenas Recreation Center Park, 14740 Blythe Street Panorama City, CA, camp participants will perform original monologues and songs for all to enjoy!
About Actress Ciera Payton
Most recently known for her roles in CBS' "Bad Teacher", USA Network’s "Graceland", Spike Lee’s "Oldboy", TNT’s "The Closer", and many other works, the actress is also best known for her work with at-risk youth.
Ciera discovered her artistic gifts at a young age, using the arts to work through the challenges of her childhood, and has spent much of her young life giving back to youth on the same path she once walked. Having to grow up fast as she was faced with the loss of her caregivers at the age of 13 (her grandmother to cancer and her father to prison) Ciera was determined to not become a statistic. Being reunited with her mother, a world of opportunities would open up for Ciera, including the opportunity to share her story in the one-woman Off-Broadway show, “Michael’s Daughter”, which is being requested nationwide!
For more information on Ciera Payton, visit her website: www.cierapayton.com
About the "Michael's Daughter Project: Aspire to Inspire"
Every year the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs grants tourism tax money to arts based programs serving the greater Los Angeles area. The purpose is to bring arts programs to undeserved areas in Los Angeles in order to enrich the community and surrounding neighborhoods. This year 250 Los Angeles applicants were awarded the Artists in Residence Grant. Each grantee is required to partner with a host organization located in an assigned city council district.
Being awarded one of 2014's grants, Ciera Payton has partnered with Casa Esperanza located in city council district 6 in Panorama vxfng City. Casa Esperanza is located in a neighborhood of severe poverty and heavy gang influence. Some of the youth that attend Casa Esperanza are at risk of dropping out of school and joining gangs. For the Summer of 2014, Ciera has used her talents and years of experience working with at-risk youth arts programs to teach the students acting and creative writing skills.
Over the course of 5 weeks, the students have been challenged to create original content which is now being compiled into a theatrical stage production to be presented at Casa Esperanza commencing on Friday August 8, 2014.
About Casa Esperanza Blythe Street
Our mission is to empower the families of Blythe Street neighborhood to be self-sufficient and create their best possible future. This echoes the mission statement of the founding Immaculate Heart Community in building social relations that foster access of all persons to truth, dignity and full human development. Casa Esperanza is not a religious organization and is open to all people. Casa Esperanza is located in a neighborhood of severe poverty and a heavy gang influence. Cited with the first gang injunction by LAPD, the Blythe Street population of over 5,000 residents now depends on this 21 year old resource founded in 1992 for assistance in pursuing academic and economic independence and citizenship in a safe environment. Health care is non-existent and living conditions are sub-standard.
For more information on Casa Esperanza, please visit: http://casaesperanzaihm.org/
Toni L. Rousell